He couldn't see the cab from where he sat in the darkened rooom. But he knew it was there, waiting for him. He got up from the misshapen easy chair, looked around the room one last time, picked up his lumpy overnight bag and walked out of the silent room, down the stairs and to the curb, where the cab waited, its engine running.
"Zat O'Hare, Buddy?" the driver asked.
"You got it. get in."
He threw his bag into the corner of the back seat and climbed in next to it.In a few seconds the cab was moving down the darkened streets to the interstate.
In less than four hours, he would be where he needed to be. People would be waiting for him there. In the afternoon they would stand with him in silence, some of them sobbing, others looking bored or confused. Then would come the quiet talk, until late at night over pots of coffee and a bottle of brandy or bourbon. And the next afternoon someone would drive him to the airport. And that evening he would hail a cab at O'Hare, just like the one he was sitting in now, and an hour later he would be back in the silent room, in the misshapen chair.
Christ, he thought, why are there cabs? Why are there planes? Why?